Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Season of Giving

Christmas is almost here! Tis the season of too much...

Too much shopping.

Too much eating.

Too much wanting.

Too much spending.

Too much STRESS.

Wouldn't it be great if we saw it as the season of too much loving and too much giving!

So I had this perfect little lesson planned for the kids in my Sunday school class. A less about giving. Because Christmas really isn't all about getting. It's about what God gave us, and what we give back.

Christmas should be about showing God's perfect love to a hurting world.

I meant to ask the children in my class this question: What would you give up for Christmas?

Not what do you want to get? Or what will you give. But what would you be willing to give.

Or give up. I'm not talking fruit cake or a pan of fudge. I'm talking about personal sacrifice.

I wanted them to think about compassion and charity. I wanted them to think about having a willing heart; willing to give up something they love or cherish.

And then God asked me: What are you willing to give up.

I found that the question wasn't as easy to answer as I had thought it would be. It was easy when I thought I was going to be the one asking. Not so easy when God required something of me. As in; my time, my home, my heart, a piece of my life.

Giving up those things we hold dear isn't easy.

Sometimes giving requires big change.

Sometimes it requires us to step out of our comfort zone and do what we never thought we'd be expected to do.

Last week we received an unexpected blessing, two of them. One is six months old. The other is three. The blessing was extended to our entire family. Five blessings, enough to go around.

I had been pretty content (big mistake) with my life. I'd been thinking that I had this kid thing just about wrapped up. I was so wrong! Suddenly I'm making bottles, chasing a toddler, and falling into bed exhausted each night.

Last week I thought Algebra was hard. HA! Algebra was just the pop quiz. This is the real test.

I'm pretty sure its worth it. Its worth it because of the smiles, the hugs and the baby kisses. Who needs an extra hour to drink coffee.

Oh, take that back. I do. But I'll keep the babies and drink the coffee when I get a chance.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Harlequin--YES! Algebra--NO!

I'm an author. That makes me a very LEFT BRAIN individual. I do not do algebra.
I like math that is straight forward, says what it means, means what it says. I like columns. I like accounting math (not the actual accounting, because that would require more work).

Algebra does not work with my brain. It has never worked with my brain. My brain sees numbers and letters in the same problem and it starts to chant, "La, la, la, la, la, I can't hear you."
Which is probably very close to what I told my math teacher years ago. Even then I had something figured out. My future was shoved behind my algebra book. It was smuggled into P.E.
It was carried on the bus after school. It was devoured with bedroom lights turned off and a sliver of light from the hall enabling me to finish those last few chapters.

I loved Harlequin when I was twelve. I love it today.

Which brings me to my very scattered point. There is one class they should teach in school.
They should offer a class called, "Algebra for Moms who will someday have to help with homework."
Yeah, its wordy, but you have to admit I have a point. When my son opens his algebra book and I look at those letters and numbers typed across the page, my brain shuts down. It starts to chant, "La, la, la, I can't hear you."
He opens his algebra book. I want to do what I learned in algebra; read a romance novel. Its instinctive. Pick up the book and hide the Harlequin behind it.

Next time my son asks for help with Algebra, I'm going to show him that little trick.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Doing the DIshes..For the Lord?

Have you ever had a Bible verse leap into your mind for no reason at all? I admit that I do have a lot of random thoughts. My brain goes on little escapades that I call 'chasing rabbits.' I also have chain reaction thoughts, where one thought takes my mind on a completely different path that is connected, but not really.

I said all of that to say this: Today this verse popped into my mind, 'And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men.' Colossians 3:23 (NKJV)

Of course when the verse first popped into my mind, I thought about being a good wife and mom, and then about church and teaching children, about ministry at the nursing home, and writing. Those are the biggies when I think of 'doing as unto the Lord.' To be honest, I felt pretty good with the list of things I'm doing for God.

But, as He so often does, God shoved other thoughts into my mind. He has a great sense of humor. I know this because my mind went in directions that I definitely wouldn't have taken on my own, not in a million procrastinating years.

Housework popped into my mind. Laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning the bathrooms. Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. I stuck my spiritual fingers in my spiritual ears and sang, "La, la, la, I can't hear you."

I'm not against housework. (I'm not really for it, either) I love to cook for my family. I'm a firm believer in the Proverbs 31 wife. I especially like the part where she has servants. (vs 15)

But when I tie housework to Colossians 3:23, it made me think a little deeper.
I tried to push the thoughts aside. I was busy drinking coffee, checking email and ignoring dishes.

Seriously, clean house as if I'm doing it unto the Lord? Do laundry and dishes, as unto the Lord.

Yes, those things, too. Do them as unto the Lord.

I'm a little convicted by this. Or maybe a lot convicted. Not enough to just jump right up and tackle those bathrooms, but I'm really very close. But first I had to share the thought because: